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24663FWD: Odyssey Announces Winter 2014 Online Writing Classes

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  • ftl_publications
    Nov 14, 2013
      --- Original Message ---
      From: "Jeanne Cavelos" <jcavelos@...>
      Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 17:27:03 -0500
      Subject: Odyssey Announces Winter 2014 Online Writing Classes

      Hi. I thought you might be interested in our online writing classes,
      described in the press release below. If you know any writers who might be
      interested, I hope you'll pass the information along.

      If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

      Thanks for helping to spread the word!



      Jeanne Cavelos


      Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust

      P.O. Box 75

      Mont Vernon, NH 03057

      Phone (603) 673-6234




      Publicity Release

      November 2013



      Odyssey, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of helping writers improve
      their work, is offering three exciting, new online courses this winter.

      All Odyssey Online courses involve live online class meetings, so students
      can ask questions and participate in the class. Each course is designed to
      provide intensive focus on a particular aspect of fiction writing and
      challenging homework assignments to help students improve their skills.
      Feedback from the instructor and from classmates allows students to make
      strong improvements. Each student also has an individual meeting with the
      instructor. Courses provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing
      atmosphere, with class size limited to fourteen students. While courses are
      designed for adult writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror,
      interested writers of all genres are welcome to apply.

      Last winter, a total of 42 hard-working writers from the US, Canada, India,
      New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, participated in Odyssey's three online
      courses. One student, a lawyer and published writer from Indiana,
      commented, "Although I have taken online classes and workshops before, I
      have not worked so hard on class assignments since I was in college."
      Odyssey instructors pack as much useful content into each course as
      possible, and with our live class sessions, instructors can reach across the
      miles to students, fostering energetic discussions and making strong

      Odyssey's winter 2014 courses focus on key issues for writers:

      Powerful Dialogue in Fantastic

      Course Meets: January 2 - 30, 2014

      Instructor: Jeanne Cavelos

      Application Deadline: December 7, 2013

      Graduates of Jeanne Cavelos's previous Odyssey Online courses have been
      clamoring for her to offer a new subject, and they've also been requesting a
      course on dialogue, so Odyssey is excited to offer Powerful Dialogue in
      Fantastic Fiction. Dialogue is one of the major components of most works of
      fiction, yet few writers give it much thought beyond trying to make it sound
      realistic and trying to make each character have a distinct manner of
      speaking. But a writer needs to do much more than that to create powerful

      Powerful dialogue can leave readers hanging on every word. It can delight
      and surprise readers. It can resonate long after the book is closed. It can
      drive the story forward, reveal character, show the nuances in
      relationships, develop internal or external conflict, provide a powerful
      contrast with action, convey subtext, alter pace, build atmosphere, carry
      cultural or educational differences, increase tension, and reveal setting
      and other information. This course will help students to write layered,
      powerful dialogue that accomplishes multiple goals and resonates with
      readers long after they finish the story.

      The Heart of the Matter:
      Bringing Emotional Resonance to Your Storytelling

      Course Meets: January 6 - February 3, 2014

      Instructor: Barbara Ashford

      Application Deadline: December 10, 2013

      Barbara Ashford's online class last year was one of the most popular we've
      ever had; every student who filled out an evaluation rated it "excellent"!
      So we asked Barbara to teach again this year. Her new course deals with one
      of the issues writers struggle with most: evoking strong emotions in the
      reader. This course will offer breakthrough insights to students.

      Award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford believes in storytelling that takes
      readers on a journey that satisfies their hearts as well as their minds.
      Readers love stories that force characters to confront their darkest fears,
      expose their shameful secrets, survive their most wrenching confrontations.
      But just having your character cry or laugh or scream will never get readers
      to share the emotions behind those actions. It requires careful
      crafting--from conception to execution--to achieve that. This course will
      take you from "setting the stage"--exploring and understanding the emotions
      inherent in a story idea--to "getting it on the page" by showing complex
      emotions through your writing.

      The Secrets of a Satisfying Short

      Course Meets: January 23 - February 20, 2014

      Instructor: Nancy Holder

      Application Deadline: December 27, 2013

      At last summer's Odyssey Writing Workshop, Nancy Holder spent a week with
      students as writer-in-residence. Students were so thrilled with that
      week--with the one-on-one work Nancy did with them, the critiques she
      provided, and the insights they received--that we asked Nancy to teach an
      online class. She's adapting and radically expanding one of her Odyssey
      lectures to create The Secrets of a Satisfying Short Story.

      The short story is a very demanding form, and it provides no margin for
      error. Many writers don't understand the bedrock principles that make for a
      successful short story. They write without a clear sense of what they want
      to achieve, and without sufficiently developing the key ingredients that
      will help them achieve it. This course will start by discussing Edgar Allan
      Poe's criteria for a short story, which offer powerful, clarifying
      principles. We'll then explore the key concepts of idea, premise, and plot,
      and how to make sure you aren't writing from an idea but have made the
      journey from idea to premise to plot. We'll study how the beginning of the
      story leads to the surprising but inevitable end. We'll discuss why weak
      endings are the most common problem among writers and how to make your
      ending strong. We'll work on connecting internal and external conflicts;
      developing your conflicts through cause and effect; distinguishing between
      presenting and representing; identifying and remaining focused on your
      story; and revising your work.

      More information about Odyssey's online classes can be found here:

      http://www.sff.net/odyssey/online.html or by emailing

      If you've visited the Odyssey site recently, you may need to click REFRESH
      on your browser to see the new content.

      PLEASE NOTE: Those application deadlines are coming up soon! If you would
      like to apply for more than one course, you must apply separately for each

      Odyssey's Online Classes provide the tools you need to improve your writing,
      along with feedback on your work that reveals whether you are successfully
      using those tools. If you're ready to hear about the weaknesses in your
      writing and ready to work to overcome them, you'd be welcome to apply to our
      online classes.

      In addition, the Odyssey site, http://www.odysseyworkshop.org, offers many
      resources for writers, including free podcasts, writing and publishing tips,
      a writing blog, a critique service, and information about the six-week
      in-person workshop.

      Spend the winter taking your writing to the next level!